Much to everyone's surprise, Gwinnett County Republicans voted a slight majority in favor of the casino gambling question on the July 31 GOP Primary ballot.
The question: "Should Georgia have casino gambling with funds going to education?" received a 50.2 percent yes vote, while 49.7 percent said no.
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While the question is non-binding and were merely advisory, it could impact a proposed $1-billion gambling facility in Gwinnett County, particularly unincorporated Norcross. Developer Dan O'Leary believed the question is flawed, especially when compared to the question on the Democratic ballot: "Would you support casino gambling in Gwinnett County?"
Now that the votes were more in favor than expected, O'Leary sent out a hopeful statement.
"The people have spoken," he said in a press release. "They reject government solutions that simply raise taxes to fund their operations. It’s time to think creatively about solutions."
O'Leary's proposed destination gaming facility would have video lottery terminals in an almost resort-like complex, which would include a hotel, restaurants, retail and more. In order for O'Leary to move forward with construction, he needs the approval to operate the video lottery terminals at the facility.
His proposal was essentially shot down at the Georgia Lottery Board meeting in April where he presented his plan. Now that the voters have shown a slight majority in favor, things are looking up for O'Leary's plan.
"I trust this strong support by the people of Georgia will encourage the Lottery Board to move forward now with its mission of maximizing revenue for the HOPE scholarship," O'Leary said.